Is It Still Necessary to Hold the Tradition of a Cinderella Wedding?
Recently, a Cinderella Wedding has become a new trend in Indonesia. It is said that this kind of wedding is a tradition requirement. But is it?
Indonesian has this stereotype liking of a grand wedding. Extravagant decorations, a groom that look like a prince and a bride like a princess, thousands of guests, perhaps a celebrity or two, and of course, good food. I don’t know since when the society gains such stigma, but it’s been there for a while.
No matter if it is said as a bad way to celebrate man and wife union, many people still expect to have this kind of wedding celebration. Many parents also think like that, including mine. Sorry Mum, but you know it’s true.
“It is a tradition,” they said, “and if we don’t preserve our own tradition, who will?”
Right. I am not a hater of the old tradition, as long as they worth the perseverance. Many traditions are upheld for their meanings, the hidden values, or the unspoken advice from the elders to the younger generations. But let’s not forget that these traditions are born in a certain period of time, and therefore, they are strongly related to the culture at that particular time. But we have to admit, there are traditions that cannot be applied to the life nowadays because of the shift of values.
For example: caste system.
Do we want to preserve a tradition that encourages injustice, inequality, and perhaps even oppression to a certain group of people that are considered “lower in level” because the natural selection called bloodlines?
I don’t think so.
The Traditions of a Wedding
Let me explain a bit about some Javanese wedding traditions. I will use Javanese as an example because I am a Javanese, but I believe other tribes in Indonesia shares similar values and meanings, only in different kinds of rituals and names.
There is a pre-marriage ceremony called siraman. It symbolizes the cleansing of the body and soul of the groom and bride-to-be before they enter a new life as a unity through a sacred marriage. And then there is also ruwatan, which is a ritual about sending prayers to the groom and bride-to-be, hoping them a safe and long-lasting marriage life. Although they are like complicated ways to send the new couple away, these traditions present the values and good intentions that are still vital for couples, so I support these traditions.
On the other hand, a ritual called pingitan is no longer relatable in this era. It is a ritual to keep the bride-to-be in the house (yes, the strictest tradition won’t even let her go out) and not meeting or communicating with the groom-to-be until their wedding day. This can last for days, weeks, and to months. It is said that it’s for making time to do treatments to surprise her husband-to-be.
Please, nowadays, when you hire the right make-up artist, you can surprise anyone, anywhere, in a short time, without the need to hide yourself from the world. Not to mention the violation of women’s right for restricting a woman to do whatever she wants and making her an object to please the man. Because pingitan doesn’t fit to this era’s values, it is dropped by many Javanese couples (some still do it for the sake of the “tradition perseverance”).
The Generation Gap
The next question is: Why can you drop some “unrelatable” so-called tradition but keeping the other? Wait, is having a royal wedding like Cinderella even a tradition from the first place? Frankly, I’m not so sure.
In the old society, Javanese who hold a party—or more like social gatherings, would get help from the people around them. The women cooks, the youngsters serve the food and do the dishes, the men prepare the decoration, etc. This is probably why there is a term “pesta rakyat” (people’s party), because it is prepared by the people and for the people. Moreover, families at that time tend to live close, so even if you make a party for a whole village, half of the attendee is most probably still your relatives.
Let’s go back to present day and see the differences. When creating an event, even the one in a small neighborhood like RT (a group of families living in a neighborhood area), people now tend to hire daily workers to do the preparation, buy the food, and clean the trash. Families live miles apart. As time goes by, things change, yet they are keeping one traditional nature called pekewuh. It is to feel guilty and uncomfortable for doing something that is considered not-considerable-towards others. Many times, this nature is confused with dignity and prestige and even ego.
So actually there is no specific reason for the tradition of having a big, royal wedding celebration. Yes, there are several traditional rituals, but it is okay to drop one or two of them. It is still possible to make a simple-but-sophisticated traditional wedding. And more importantly, it is not a sin not to invite everyone in your Google address book.
Whom insist on holding a grand wedding, despite other considerations, with all due respects, your children are not your property. It is true that you bore them, raise them, spend lots of money for them, and you love them, and you want the best for them.
Yet, when it comes to their wedding—or any of their life events, actually, don't they have the right to choose what they want for it? I’m sure deep down you agree on the idea of saving the budget for a family trip, or to pay for their new home. And yes, some people are going to be disappointed, some even might talk bad about it; but wise men say, “You can’t please everyone”. So, please consider your children more and think of their own happiness, not all the others.
Because by then, you have forgotten what’s the real purpose of a wedding:
A grand wedding is not about tradition and courtesy. It doesn’t have to be proven by inviting everyone to the wedding. Remember what matters: the marriage, not the wedding.
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